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Madras HC dismisses PIL against Pepsi, Coca Cola on using Thambirabarani river water

The Madras High Court rejected two public interest litigation (PIL)’s against supplying water to soft drink companies including Pepsi and Coca-Cola from the Thamirabarani river in Tirunelvelli.

The court lifted the stay order from November 2016, stating water supply will not be curbed, according to ANI.

The petitioner had accused PepsiCo of using water for commercial gains.

In November 2016, the court had banned Pepsi and Coke from using Thamirabarani river’s water for their bottling plant on a petition that these companies were depriving farmers of their livelihood, who were unable to take up farming activities.

The PIL filed by Prabakar, Secretary of Tirunelveli Consumer Protection Association, stated that the companies paid only 37.50 paise per 1,000 litres of water extracted from the river.

However, Traders Federation in Tamil Nadu had imposed a deadline to boycott all soft drinks manufactured outside India.

“About 70 per cent of the (15 lakh) traders have decided to boycott the sales of Coke and Pepsi from today onwards for their toxic nature. Whatever you find on the shelves of the stores are leftover stocks and those not taken back by the (distributing) agencies,” AM Vikrama Raja, President of Tamil Nadu Traders Federation, was quoted by India Today as saying.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi have bottling units in Tamil Nadu.

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